By Kaitlyn Lewis (News Editor)
Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business cut the ribbon to the new Hughes Leadership and Career Center Wednesday, Sept. 24. The center was made possible through a $500,000 donation from a former Coles College graduate student, Tom Hughes, and his wife, Barbara Hughes.
The Hughes Leadership and Career center, located in Room 132 of the Burruss Building, will be a place for business students to have conversations with their career coaches, said Kathy Schwaig, the Coles College dean.
“Our career coaches are from each major, each department, and they have actually been in this field—in the career that they’re counseling on,” said Schwaig. “So students can now talk to them about how different jobs and different career paths that are available given their particular major.”
The Hughes Leadership and Career Program is comprised of three courses which students will be required to complete throughout their Sophomore, Junior and Senior years. Students will not have to pay for these courses and they will not receive any credits after completing them.
“Every undergraduate business student, that is admitted to KSU starting fall 2014 forward, will complete the Hughes Leadership and Career Program as part of their undergraduate business curriculum,” said Linda Malgeri, the director of the program. “Students will be working with a Career Coach to develop and enhance skills needed to attain their career of choice.”
Around 400 students are currently participating in the new program, said Schwaig. She said KSU has around 5,000 undergraduate business students.
“I’m excited that it is getting us more prepared for our career. I came in wanting to be a financial adviser and not knowing a lot about it, and now I learned about all these other careers I can do with my degree,” said Sophomore finance major Joellen Espenship, one of the students participating in the new program. “It’s eye-opening in preparing for a career that I wouldn’t be as prepared if I didn’t have this.”
Online students will still be able to talk with their career coaches though Skype, said Malgeri. Coles College will keep the career center open late two nights a week and Saturday afternoon. “We want to be all-encompassing to our nontraditional students,” she said.
More information on the Hughes Leadership and Career Program can be found on the Coles College website, coles.kennesaw.edu/takeflight.